Lockdown has been especially hard for musicians around the world, whether professionals who play in bands or amateurs who like to noodle around with their friends sometimes. Google's latest web-based experiment could help with that, allowing groups of up to 10 to play music together remotely.
Head to the site and you can then share a custom link with your mates so they can join your room. There's a selection of instrument types you can mimic, including a drum kit/machine, marimba, strings, woodwind, synth, and regular piano — you can essentially emulate a full band if you can get enough people together.
It's a neat idea, and it seems to work okay for me without too much latency thanks to the WebRTC real-time communications standard it uses (albeit just playing with myself on two devices at home). You can even connect up a MIDI keyboard rather than playing with the keyboard on your laptop/computer. I plugged in my M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 via USB, and because I'm using it with a recent version of Chrome that supports WebMIDI, it just works. If you have a mobile device with a touchscreen, you can use that too.
Shared Piano is only in beta right now, so expect the occasional bug or stutter, but it's remarkably good considering. Aside from just messing around with friends, it could even be used for teaching purposes. Let's hope it gets some new instruments and features down the line.
- Shared Piano